ROMANS 5 - 8

Romans 5:12-21:

by Thomas W. Finley

(Rom 5:12) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned

(Rom 5:13) for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

(Rom 5:14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

(Rom 5:15) But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

(Rom 5:16) The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

(Rom 5:17) For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

(Rom 5:19) For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

(Rom 5:20) The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

(Rom 5:21) so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(the first man, Adam; 1 Cor. 15:45)
(the last Adam; 1 Cor. 15:45)
“the transgression of the one” (v. 17; Gen. 3:11) “the obedience of the one” (v. 19; Phil. 2:8)
sin entered into the world” (v. 12) “the grace of God...abounded to the many” (v. 15)
“the judgment arose...resulting in condemnation” (v. 16) justification” (v. 18) “the gift of righteousness” (v. 17)
“the many were made sinners.” (v. 19) “the many will be made righteous” (v.19)
death through sin, and so death spread to all men” (v. 12) “justification of [leading to] life” (v.18)
“death reigned”” (v. 17) “those who receivethe abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life” (v. 17)
“sin reigned in death” (v. 21) “grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life” (v. 21)


● Adam and Christ are two men, which are federal heads of two “races”. The term federal means that the actions of the head are done in a representative way for all those belonging to that man. And, the consequences of such action are seen as affecting all. Men are either “in Adam” or “in Christ”.

● When Adam sinned we were all implicated in that action, just as Levi was “in Abraham” when Abraham tithed to Melchizadek (Heb. 7:4-10). In this way, “all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

● When Adam sinned, sin entered into the human race and the sin nature was passed onto all in Adam. Also, death came through sin, as they are always linked (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12; 6:23; 8:2). We were born in Adam, so we inherit a sin nature and we are destined to die (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12).

● God’s judgment and condemnation upon the human race arose because of Adam’s transgression. However, we should realize that each person who is ultimately condemned for eternity will be condemned as a result of personal guilt: for their own deeds and because they failed to accept God’s forgiveness in Christ (Jn. 3:18; Rev. 20:12-15).

● Through Christ’s “one act of righteousness there resulted justification” (v.18). Christ’s act of righteousness was His obedience in going to the cross (Phil. 2:8). Christ’s work on the cross is the complete and sole ground for justification (Rom. 3:24; 5:9). Justification is a declaration by God that a person stands righteous in His sight. Negatively, it includes the forgiveness of all our sins (Acts 13:38-39; Col. 2:13) Positively, it includes us being made the very righteousness of God in Christ (“that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”; 2 Cor. 5:21). This means that God raised us up in Christ (Eph. 2:5-6), and we are now “in Christ” with the very righteousness of God Himself imputed (ascribed) to us. Therefore, we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10) and stand perfected forever (Heb. 10:10, 14). God accepts us as He accepts Christ. Justification is a gift that takes place at the moment of belief (Rom. 3:26; Rom. 5:1) It is a legal act of God and concerns our position, our standing (“in Christ”), before Him. It has nothing to do with our day to day condition. It is based upon Christ’s work, not our walk, so It remains unchangeable and permanent (Jn. 5:24; Rom. 3:21-28). Don’t confuse position with condition! “Now, to be merely a subject of God’s government is one thing; to be a subject of His unchangeable grace is another. We should never confound them...we would here only add our full persuasion that no one can understand the Word of God who does not accurately distinguish between man under government and man under grace. In the one case he is looked at as walking down here, in the place of responsibility and danger; in the other, he is looked at as associated with Christ above, in the place of inalienable privilege and eternal security.” (C. H. Macintosh, The Mackintosh Treasury, p. 650)

● Although sin did incalculable damage to mankind, God’s grace abounded to accomplish much more. His grace not only gives us righteousness, but also gives us a life far beyond that which Adam lost. Now we have the life of God. Whereas Adam was earthy, in the resurrection we shall bear the image of the heavenly in a glorious, imperishable, spiritual body (Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:42ff). And, we shall “reign in life”. Christian overcomers will reign with Christ in His 1,000 year Kingdom (Rev. 20:4), and it seems that all believers will reign in eternity (Rev. 22:5).

● We have been transferred from Adam to Christ (Rom. 6:3-11; 1 Cor. 1:30). We are in union with Christ! Therefore, we may now receive all the benefits that flow from the one righteous act of our new federal head, Christ. We firstly receive the gift of righteousness by faith. Then, we are to come forward to the throne of grace and to the word of His grace, in order to receive “the abundance of grace” so that we may reign in life, over the self, sin, the flesh, the world, circumstances and every attack of the devil. We now pursue Christ in order to win the prize - being approved at His Judgment Seat to reign with Him in life in His coming 1,000 year kingdom (1 Cor. 9:24-25; Phil. 3:7-14; 2 Tim. 2:12). Grace will reign to eternal life (Rom. 5:21; Eph. 2:7).

(Bible quotations from the New American Standard Version)

Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13, NASB)